Various Artists

Hey Love, Vol. 1

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The two-volume "sounds of sexy soul" compilation Hey Love dates back to the late '70s, when the package was first unleashed as a late-night television mail order offer on vinyl, eight track, and cassette. The memorable advert concluded with the exchange "Man, can I borrow that...?" "No my brother, you've got to get your own...here's how!" Some two decades later, Time-Life has reissued the classic 40-song anthology onto a pair of CDs, boasting significantly improved sound quality and the exact same interminable set list. While the contents are not sequenced in regards to any specific methodology, the material spans an eight-year era (1967 through 1973) that witnessed a revolution in soul music rivalling that concurrently occurring in pop/rock. Hey Love, Vol. 1 (2001) contains 20 tracks, all of which peaked at various positions within the Top 20 on the R&B singles chart. Even the most cursory of glances at the song list reveals both well-known crossover smashes such as "Have You Seen Her" by the Chi-Lites, "Going in Circles" from the Friends of Distinction, or the plaintive wail of Eddie Holman's "Hey There Lonely Girl." Conversely, the disc is likewise full of equally brilliant, albeit lesser-known sides. Among the highlights are Brenda & the Tabulations' dark and sensual "The Touch of You," Frankie & the Spindles' cover of Derek Martin's "Count to Ten," or the unusual sound effects that help dramatize the Unifics' "Court of Love." Both instalments in this series are perfect for all dimensions of soul music lovers. Hardcore enthusiasts will revel in the availability of the more difficult-to-locate (especially on compact disc) platters, while the mainstream consumer can find an ample sampling of hits to bulk up their respective collections. Hey Love can also be considered a superior primer and springboard for the burgeoning listener interested in delving deeper into the late-'60s and early-'70s seminal soul scene.

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